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Posts Tagged ‘South Carolina’

December 17th, 2015

Historic Charleston Eats! Husk, Charleston, South Carolina, Restaurant, Review, “A Destination to Savor”

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The fun part of staying in Historic Charleston is that you can walk everywhere.  During my stay last week I noticed that Christmas decorations were very traditional and understated.  So en route to Husk at 76 Queen St. I was.

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I was anticipating a very nice dinner.  This is one of the top restaurants in Historic Charleston.  Tel. 843-577-2500.  You can find it on Facebook.  Website? http:/www.huskrestaurant.com.

Husk is operated and managed by the Neighborhood Dining Group.  You can find this group managing and operating restaurants throughout the southeast.  For more info., please visit http://www.neighborhooddininggroup.com.

Husk opens 7 days a week.  Lunch is served Monday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.  Sunday Brunch is from 10:00 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.  Dinner is from Sunday to Thursday from 5:30 p.m. until 10:00 p.m.  And, Friday and Saturday dinner is from 5:30 p.m. until 11:00 p.m.

Wednesday evening was crowded so my photos were limited to my dining experience.

The bread was sprinkled with sea salt.  It was brought to the table promptly.  The service from this point on was impeccable.

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Through my stay in Charleston I always asked for the signature dish of the restaurant.  I figured it is one that is tried and true and really liked by the public.  So I started with Kentuckyaki Glazed Pig’s Ear Lettuce Wraps, Sweet Vinegar Marinated Cucumber, Red Onion and Bourbon Barrel Togarashi.  Togarashi is the Japanese word for red chili peppers and a general name for a group of condiments that blend chili pepper with other ingredients.  The pig’s ears were thinly sliced and were crisped.  The cucumbers were all preserved by Husk as they usually do with all their summer veggies.  This dish was awesome.  And when upon posting the photo on Facebook my friend, Shelley, mentioned….Oh you could get those at Southern States….she seems to still have a good sense of humor.

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Another Signature Dish at Husk is the Cornmeal Dusted Carolina Catfish.  Field Peas and Butterbeans, Smoked Tomato Gravy, Mustard Greens.  Once again the flavors on this entree were terrific.  I also enjoyed this dish because I knew my late husband, John, would have ordered it, as well.  This Catfish had a bit of a bite to it even though the flavor was mild and the dusting was light.

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A side order of Wood Fired Geechie Boy Mill Grits, and Cheddar from TN.  I ate grits everywhere I found them.  These were delicious. Geehie Boy Mill Grits are from Edisto Island, South Carolina. You can order online.  Please visit http://www.geechieboymill.com

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My dessert was again decadent.  Olive & Sinclair Chocolate Fudge Cake with homemade Peanut Butter Ice Cream and a dusting of peanut butter powder.  I missed my partners in crime to help eat this cake, so what can I say, I ate it all myself.  Olive & Sinclair chocolate is stone ground in Nashville Tennessee.  More information, please visit http://www.oliveandsinclair.com.

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So, 3 nights in Historic Charleston, 3 delicious dinners, 2 great breakfasts, and 1 very nice lunch…..TTYL  Have Good One!!

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December 14th, 2015

Historic Charleston Eats! SNOB, Slightly North of Broad, Restaurant, Review, Lunch & Dinner, Gluten Free Menu, Charleston, South Carolina

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If you are in Charleston at this precise moment, SNOB is open for lunch.  I went back to this popular restaurant having visited last February.  I was intrigued by the fact that there is a new ownership since I last visited.  Apparently everything is going well.  Nevertheless, I wanted to try it for myself.

So off I went to 192 E Bay St.  Tel. 843-723-3424  They are open 7 days a week.  Lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and Dinner from 5:00 p.m.  Reservations are accepted but for the Chef’s Table is first come first serve.

I sat once again at the Chef’s Table.  This table, I believe has 6 seats.  Usually, diners sit here because they are foodies and also get the opportunity to chat with others, more so if you are by yourself.  You get a good view towards the kitchen.

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Plus you get a little starter from your server….a small crab cake tasting.

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Last February I had their signature dish.  That is worth a try.  Shrimp & Grits no less, with house sausage, country ham, tomatoes, green onions, on top of delicious Geechie Boy grits.

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At the Chef’s Table this year:  Steamed Local Clams with parsley, roasted garlic cream and grilled baguettes which were perfect for dipping into the broth.

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The Beef Carpaccio looked beautiful, perfect for a light lunch…thinly sliced raw beef, capers, pecorino Romano, and grilled baguette.

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And, the Grilled Carolina Trout did not disappoint….So moist and perfectly seasoned.  It was served over roasted root veggies, wilted greens and drizzled with a golden raisin vinaigrette.  If you like fish, this is a good one to try.

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Please note that SNOB offers a Gluten Free Menu, so you will be able to have a nice lunch or dinner without any problems.

No dessert this time, I was perfectly satisfied.

Have a Good One!!  TTYL

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December 13th, 2015

Sweetgrass Baskets, A Proud Tradition, Trudy Hicks Baskets, Charleston, South Carolina

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I thought that on this second trip to Charleston I was going to again leave without a sweetgrass basket.  I don’t know, to tell you the truth as I was passing plenty of weavers, none hit it where it should have….my heart.  Except, that on my last day I grabbed a cup of coffee and went down the street by my hotel, The Vendue, towards the Waterfront Park, which is on Vendue Range.  The photo above is exactly what I first saw.  I have never met a stranger, so this time I stopped and engaged Trudy Hicks in conversation.

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As it happened, Trudy is one of Charleston’s finest sweetgrass basket makers.  She was taught as a child and she has passed this art form to her children, grandchildren and plenty of others that want to learn.

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Many years ago, before she took over for her grandmother, Trudy had her own hair salon.  She has a great spot on this street because the previous mayor of the City of Charleston awarded her this particular station because of her connection to Boone Hall Plantation.  Her grandmother is the last living person that lived at Boone Hall.  Her aunt had been born there, as well.  Once she is finished for the day all she has to do is close the doors.  The basket weavers in the market have to take everything down every day and take it home.

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Trudy showed me photographs of her family.  Also a photo of the first road stand in Mount Pleasant where the first baskets were weaved and sold.

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Trudy gives back to the community.  The flowers, wreaths, crosses made out of sweetgrass…proceeds go to The House Of Love.  She takes children out on field days, and helps in every which way she can.

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I think everyone in her family except one of the little ones know how to weave.  She tells her daughter to get those little fingers ready!!

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Sweet grass baskets are so easy to take care.  Since the grasses are from swamps and marsh areas, water will not hurt them.  To clean, just spray the basket with cold water and then let them air dry.  That’s it.  Trudy’s telephone is 843-460-0901.  She also ships.  So, next time while visiting Charleston stop by and say hello.  She will give you a warm smile and plenty of hugs and will really make your day, I promise you, she will.   She is one awesome lady.

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Have a Good One!! TTYL

December 13th, 2015

The Churches on My Travels, Historic Churches, The Church of The Cross, Bluffton, St. Michael’s Catholic Church, Charleston, South Carolina, Sunday is a Day of Worship

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“Rooted in The Past, Sheltering the Present, Reaching out to the Future, Empowered by the God of the Ages.”  Visiting  my good friend, Anita, in Bluffton, South Carolina….discovering a new city in the South; Anita took me to this beautiful church.  Unfortunately, we could not get inside.  It is an Anglican Church.  It also 161 years old.  Since 1975 The Church of The Cross has been in The National Register of Historic Places.

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The location is beautiful, right on the May River.

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If you would like to read more about the church, please visit http://www.thechurchofthecross.net/history.

Magical Sundays I call them….There is something about this day of the week.  Some go to church, others put their feet up and read a book.  And most probably do nothing at all.  They say that 1 in 5 Americans identify themselves as spiritual but not religious.  Spirituality is an emotion and soothes.  Visiting the churches on my travels bring me peace and it does not matter what denomination they are.  They have heard our prayers and our thanksgivings.

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One church I fell in love with last February was St. Michael’s Catholic Church located at 71 Broad St. in Historic Charleston.  It is a National Historic Landmark.  Pewes are made of native cedar and remain the same as they have always been.  I visited this church once again last week.  The chancel rail is made of wrought iron.  It dates to 1772.  George Washington worshipped at Governor’s Pew #43.

St. Michael’s Church is one of the few city churches in America that has retained its original design.  Last March I wrote a post on this church.  If you would like to see it just click on the month of March 2015 on AboutMyBeaches and scroll down to the 8th.

If you get a chance to visit the beautiful churches of Charleston, please do so because they are amazing.

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Have a Great Day!!

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April 19th, 2015

Destination? Dixie Supply Bakery & Cafe, Historic Charleston, South Carolina, Charleston Grits, Sweet Potato Corn Bread…One More Bite!!

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Love starting Sunday mornings with a proper breakfast:  A couple of bowls of confidence with a side dish of Charleston Grits; creamy and stone ground, accompanied with sweet potato corn bread.  This tasting left me wanting some more, except it will have to be another time.  Looking forward to Fried Chicken & Waffles and, apparently, their Heirloom Tomato Pie is out of this world.  Arrive casual, that’s the kind of place it is.  Plenty of smiles letting me know that Southern Hospital is taken seriously.

Breakfast is that meal that is a big deal…love it, and enjoy it!!  Once you have it you won’t be that hungry at lunch.

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Dixie Supply Bakery & Cafe came to my attention while visiting Historic Charleston at the end of February.  It is located at 62 State Street, Charleston, SC 29401  Tel. 843-722-5650  On Mondays, they close.  The rest of the week they will open from 8 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.  Website?  http://www.dixiecafecharleston.com/home.aspx

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Their menu looked great….you might have to walk Historic Charleston a few times afterwards, though.  Their cuisine comes from generations of family recipes.  Local seasonal produce is used and also almost everything is made from scratch.

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Or, take a seat….that bench looks so good.  Relax and enjoy the moment!!  Magical Sundays!!

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March 25th, 2015

Destination? Charleston, South Carolina, Edmondston-Alston House, 21 East Battery Bed and Breakfast, Middleton Place Plantation, Exploring America’s Oldest Landscaped Gardens

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The Edmondston-Alston House was the first house museum we visited in rainy Historic Charleston the last week of February.  It is called Edmondston-Alston because Edmondston was the first owner who built this beautiful home in East Battery.  He was a successful merchant.  Financial depressions got the best of him and he had to sell….the new buyer was Alston, who was a member of one of the wealthiest rice-planting families in South Carolina.  The house is very open and, definitely worth seeing.  This house museum is administered by the Middleton Place Foundation who also owns and operates the Gardens, House and Plantation Stableyards at Middleton Place.

In the back of the Edmondston-Alston House there is a privately-owned luxury bed and breakfast.  These were the servants’ quarters.  Guests of 21 East Battery Bed and Breakfast enjoy a complimentary tour of the Edmondston-Alston House museum.  For more information, please visit http://www.21eastbattery.com.  Tel. 843-556-0500

Historic Charleston is full of antique wrought iron.  There are accents pieces and intriguing openings.

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My cousin, Maru, her husband, and I were standing at the Concierge Desk talking to our favorite concierge, Carrie.  She loved us because we did what she told us to do.  So, now we were telling her we wanted to visit Middleton Place.  This plantation has the oldest landscaped gardens in America…plus there was the connection to the Edmondston-Alston House, which we had earlier in the week visited.  How could you visit Charleston and not go to a plantation?

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We told Carrie that we did not want to go in a bus full of people.  We were tourists but we would only go so far.  We wanted a private guide.  No hesitation, Ian Sanchez, would be the one.  Carrie went on and on about how good of a guide he was and how good looking….OMG she said “You are going to love him”.  During this conversation, Maru’s husband was like….”I don’t care if he is good looking.”  Maru and I were like…We do!  He was quickly outnumbered.  We even had to wait an extra day to go with Good Looking Guide Ian.  We hoped he was worth the wait…and not like the coconut cake; they told us so much how good the coconut cake was that once we tried it, was not a big deal…it was okay, though.

We finally met with Ian Sanchez….he was good looking but not drop dead gorgeous as we were expecting.  He spoke Spanish.  I believe one of the parents was from the Dominican Republic and the other from one of the islands.  Needless to say…Latin looks and southern charm work every time; we liked that!  And so we took off with him.  He was a really good guide.  He took his time in explaining Charleston and its history, knowledgeable, very friendly and easy to understand.

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To escape the summer’s heat, the wealthy left their stately homes in Charleston and retreated to their plantation houses.  These plantations had formal gardens backed by rivers and woodlands.

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Middleton Place is located at 4300 Ashley River Rd., Charleston, SC 29414.  Tel. 843-556-6020  Website?  http://www.middletonplace.org.  Please visit the website for events happening at Middleton Place.  We arrived late in the afternoon, so one of our first stops was to tour the only building that is still in operation as a museum.  There were 3 residences at one time.  The original residence was circa 1705 and the north flanker was circa 1755…these were burned by Union troops in 1865, and then leveled by the 1886 earthquake.  The house museum was a gentlemen’s guest wing in 1755.  It contains family furniture, silver, paintings, china, books and documents.

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I think you should give yourselves more than a few hours to tour the plantation….there is much to see and much to learn.

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Eliza’s House dates to 1870 and its 2 family vernacular dwelling provides information regarding the conditions of the African American community at Middleton Place before and after the Civil War.

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We stopped at the Blacksmith Shop, where iron was being heated, forged and shaped.  Middleton Place had both, free and enslaved workers performing different tasks.

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Carpentry and Coopering …building and repairing, the coopers made barrels for storage and shipment of rice.

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Free range…animals were mingling with the guests.

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The Spring House and Plantation Chapel were beautiful.  On the lower level, the spring waters provided the perfect place to store dairy and other foods.  The upper floor was, apparently, added in 1851 and was used as a chapel for the Middletons’ slaves until the Civil War.

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The Mill…It was before the Civil War that the mill was built. Built both as a garden folly and for practical use.

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The gardens have rational order, geometry, symmetry, balance, vistas, focal points and surprises.

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After the Civil War and the Earthquake of 1886 these gardens were overgrown and neglected.  Early in the 20th century restoration began and in 1941 the Garden Club of America gave its highest award by recognizing them as “the most interesting and important gardens in America”.

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It is a little unkempt, and a little wild, when looking at the rest of the formal gardens…family tomb and burial sites.  The last resting place of generations of the Middleton family…the garden called Bosquet and Tomb.

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Notes:  Ian Sanchez can be contacted by calling 843-276-4601.  You may also email him at iansanchez4@gmail.com.  Do you prefer your tour in English, or Spanish?  You pick because he can do both.  His pledge:  “Guaranteed phenomenal tour every time or you don’t pay!!

Information for this post was taken from Middleton Place tour guide info.

Have a good one!!  Talk to you later…

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March 22nd, 2015

Sweetgrass Baskets, Historic Charleston, South Carolina, City Market, Sweetgrass Cultural Arts Festival, Saturday, June 6, 2015

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I have been in Rehoboth Beach….waiting for Spring.  Finally, the sky is blue, but that chill in the air is most definitely still there.  I don’t know what happened but my week in Historic Charleston, South Carolina, was grey, a bit rainy, and cool.

My friends asked me if I had bought one of the sweetgrass baskets.  Not yet…another trip, perhaps.  Could not make up my mind.

The baskets are made of sweetgrass, long leaf pine needles, bulrush and Palmetto tree leaves.  This type of basket weaving is one of the oldest crafts of African origin in America.  Each is an original piece, revealing the skill of the individual designer.  With  proper care sweetgrass baskets will last a lifetime.

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If you follow my blog, you are well aware that I do take lots of photos.  I think people are more visual, plus I like doing it.  When taking pictures you have to be sensitive to others whether you are in a restaurant or other public place or taking the photos of the weavers, like I did.  I asked for permission, and they did give it to me.  On the next photo, he was only taking care of the booth at the City Market for his mother, Celestine Wilson.

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This next sweetgrass basket weaver was right at the main entrance of the City Market.  It takes her hours to finish a basket.  They are labor intensive. It is getting harder to get the grasses.  Some travel to Jacksonville to get them.  Most basket weavers sign their work on the bottom.  The ones I had the opportunity to speak to said that with them it started when they were very young.  That they would take a seat in their home’s living room and one of them would start weaving, then pass it on to the next member of the family for inspection and so on and so on until the mother or grandmother would inspect it one last time.  While weaving, all would talk about the day’s ongoings.  One of them said that even to this day…when her children come to visit for the holidays or what not…this is a “pastime” that they all do together.

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The care for the sweetgrass baskets is pretty simple and easy.  Since the grasses used are found in swamp and marsh areas, the water will not hurt them.  Use a soft brush or cloth, carefully washing them in soapy water.  Rinse, then, air dry them completely.  That’s all!

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Charleston City Market is recognized as one of the oldest in the country.  The land must remain in use as a market for perpetuity.  It is located at 188 Meeting St.  Many of the local vendors are displaying and selling their goods at the City Market.  The Market opens every day.  They only close on December 25th.  Please visit http://www.thecharlestoncitymarket.com.

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And when the sun came up on Monday, March 2nd and the temperatures climbed to 70 degrees….I had to take this photo!!

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EVENT:  The Sweetgrass Cultural Arts Festival will take place at the Memorial Waterfront Park in Mount Pleasant, SC on Saturday, June 6, 2015.  More info?  http://www.sweetgrassfestival.org.  Tel. 843-856-9732

Have an awesome day!!

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March 15th, 2015

Fried Green Tomatoes, Love Them!, Fried Green Tomato, Fig, Bacon, Corn Stack, Merryman’s Green Tomato Pickle, Recipes, Restaurants Serving Fried Green Tomatoes, Rehoboth Beach, Bethany Beach, Delaware Beaches, Cape Charles, Virginia, Charleston, South Carolina, It’s All About Green Tomatoes

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I am crushed that Fried Green Tomatoes…..not a Southern dish.  That they, apparently, entered the American culinary scene in the Northeast and Midwest, with a link to Jewish immigrants.  I love them and when I see them on menus, I do order them.  Having been in Charleston, I tasted them everywhere I could.  But, let me tell you that, here, at the Delaware Beaches, we have some pretty awesome ones served at our local restaurants.

Looking forward to my fig tree this year.  Not just to eat figs off the tree but to also prepare my Fried Green Tomato, Fig, Bacon, Corn Stack….It is my own recipe; not begged, borrowed, or stolen.  You can get the recipe by clicking on the month of August of 2013 on the archives of AboutMyBeaches and scrolling down to the 11th.

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In Rehoboth Beach, Delaware:

FINS ALE HOUSE & RAW BAR on Coastal Highway.  I just had these the other day.  They were delicious and hopefully, they will keep them on the menu.

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BLUE MOON located on Baltimore Avenue in Downtown Rehoboth Beach.  This is a signature appetizer.  The fried green tomatoes are served with herbed sheep’s cheese, onion, compote, pesto and a balsamic drizzle.  Definitely, a blending of flavors.

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In Bethany Beach, Delaware:

PATSY’S RESTAURANT in Downtown Bethany Beach.  Her fried green tomatoes are topped with roasted red pepper/Vermont cheddar cheese spread with fresh basil pesto and balsamic reduction.

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Cape Charles, Virginia’s Eastern Shore:

AQUA AT KINGS CREEK MARINA in Cape Charles serves a Fried Green Tomato BLT Salad…smoked bacon and mixed greens, tossed with a roasted tomato vinaigrette.

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Historic Charleston, South Carolina:

TBONZ in Historic Charleston had these great fried green tomatoes….they went in my burger.

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SOUTHEND BREWERY & SMOKE HOUSE, located in Downtown Charleston had never had anyone topped their pizza with fried green tomatoes.  Of course, pimento cheese was included.  The pizza did not wow me here.  But, the combination of pizza and fried green tomatoes was pretty good.

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LOWCOUNTRY BISTRO, located in Historic Charleston has a great Ambrose Farms Spinach Salad….an addition of Fried Green Tomatoes made it just perfect.

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A.W. SHUCK’S – We stopped here with our Culinary Tour (post in the making)….the praline butter on the fried green tomatoes was delish.

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TOAST, located on Meeting St. had their fried green tomatoes with sweet pepper relish.

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The following recipe is soooooo good.  You can serve it with roast beef, chicken, or even in a sandwich.  It takes some time to make but once in the jars you can store them for a long time.  Give it as presents to special friends.

MERRYMAN’S GREEN TOMATO PICKLE

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1 peck (8 quarts or approx. 20 lbs of small green tomatoes

6 red peppers

12 large onions

5 tablespoons celery seed

5 tablespoons mustard seed

1/2 gal. cider vinegar

3 lbs. light brown sugar

1 cup salt

Slice the tomatoes and onions very thin.  Cut peppers into thin strips.  Place alternatively (some tomato, some onion, some peppers) in layers in a large bowl, sprinkling salt over each layer.

Let mixture sit for several hours or overnight to draw out liquid.

Squeeze the pickle dry and place in a large kettle.  Pour vinegar, sugar, mustard seed and celery seed over pickle.

Cook slowly until onion is clear and tomato is almost transparent.  One to two hours.  Check and stir often.

Place in sterilized jars and seal.

Note:  It is usually served in my house during the Holiday Season.  It is an old Merryman recipe.

Have a good one!!

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